Have you seen any coyotes lurking around town recently? If so, you're among the scores of Patch readers who've already sent in their spotting locations. Now, we're not telling you this to scare you. In fact, according to the Cook County Coyote Project, there hasn't been a documented case of a coyote attacking a human in Illinois since at least 1985—the beginning range of the study. On top of that, there have only been two cases of coyotes killing a human in the U.S. and Canada in modern history.
That said, residents are indeed reporting interactions with local coyotes and we want to keep those numbers from getting any higher. The Cook County Coyote Project website says one of the best ways to prevent coyote conflict is to avoid feeding them, whether that be intentional or not.
Furthermore, coyotes typically come out at night. If you see a coyote during the day, that's indication the animal may be more bold and therefore more likely to attack. If you ever find yourself in this situation, the study recommends you yell, wave your arms and try to throw something at the coyote. Never run away!
While coyotes have been known to attack pets, the Cook County Coyote Project says coyotes do not frequently attack dogs, and when they do, they tend to be smaller dogs. Cats, on the other hand, may represent more alluring targets. Don't lose too much sleep over it, though. The vast majority of a coyote's diet is made up of mice and rats.
If you run into what you think might be considered a "nuisance" coyote, don't hesitate to call Cook County Animal Control at 708-974-6046.